Nottingham, UK, 15 October 2013 — Experian®, the global information services company, has helped Enfield Council pioneer a new collections strategy which has resulted in a significant reduction of customer debt over the past 12 months.
Within the first year of adopting Experian’s offering, Enfield Council reduced its customer debt, primarily council tax arrears, by £1.3 million, helping to reverse the increase in outstanding revenue as household budgets continue to feel the pinch of economic hardship. Through the intelligent use of accurate customer insight, Enfield Council was able to make informed decisions that improved the efficiency of its processes, allowing the organisation to maintain its customer service focus while ensuring arrears were significantly reduced.
In total, across England, council tax arrears are in excess of £2.3 billion, equivalent to approximately 10 per cent of all revenues collected by local authorities for council tax. London arrears alone equate to £641 million, reflecting 28% of all arrears in England*.
Enfield Council employed Experian’s Debt Prioritisation Service (DPS) to improve its arrears recovery processes, enabling the identification of collectable revenues and informing appropriate debt recovery actions for residents of the London borough The software ensures the local authority safeguards its vulnerable customers by segmenting them accordingly to make personalised and appropriate debt recovery decisions, based upon their individual circumstances. In the last 12 months, for the first time in six years, Enfield’s arrears have fallen, from £30.5 million to £29.2 million, a drop of 4.4%.
Geoff Waterton, Head of Collection Finance, Resources and Customer Services at Enfield Council, said: “Enfield Council, like all local authorities, is under increasing pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while maintaining high standards of customer service. so we were looking for an innovative solution to tackle outstanding payments head on, and our partnership with Experian provided just that. We have been able to recover a significant amount of money, which ultimately goes back into the public purse, and improves our awareness of individual accounts. Our recent award at the IRRV conference for excellence in innovation is a further testament to our commitment to tackle debt responsibly.”
Jon Rayfield for Experian Public Sector, said: “It is important for local authorities to be consistent and fair in terms of their dealings with debtors, to respond to the needs of those who are struggling financially but recognise and identify those who are not. By employing Experian’s Debt Prioritisation Software, Enfield Council has recorded a significant improvement in both performance and results and halted a six year increase in arrears. It has shown that it can meet stretching performance objectives within the first year of the partnership, using Experian data and a segmented approach to debt. With national arrears totaling £2.3 billion, there are many other local authorities that could benefit from improved collection performance by simply better understanding and subsequently targeting their communities.”
* Figures sourced from the Department for Communities and Local Government, Quarterly return of council taxes and non domestic rates QRC4 2012-13
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.